Lena church, pastor sue Pritzker for ‘flagrantly violating’ religious rights during COVID-19 pandemic


Nov 16, 2018
LENA (WREX) — An Evangelic Christian church in Lena has filed a lawsuit against Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and leaders in Stephenson County, saying their religious rights have been violated.

The Beloved Church of Lena and Pastor Stephen Cassell filed a federal complaint with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Rockford.

The lawsuit is against Gov. Pritzker, David Snyders the Stephenson County Sheriff, Craig Beintema, the Stephenson County Public Health Administrator and Steve Schiable, the Village of Lena's police chief, for issuing and enforcing unconstitutional edicts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit says the defendants have "intentionally denigrated Illinois churches and pastors and people of faith by relegating them to second-class citizenship."

Cassell and his church have been issued “cease and desist” orders, and been threatened with closure and prosecution for continuing to meet for worship, prayer, and Bible study.

The church is also planning on filing a temporary restraining order against the stay-at-home order.